The list for getting ready. Our time is shorter to launch, we will be leaving first to mid May to traverse Long Island Sound to New York and the Hudson River..
We ordered and now have a new radio with a DSC button (all new marine radios do) for emergencies, GPS and AIS to assist in collision avoidance.
Dean is working on fabricating an 8ft. wooden mast to hold the radar dome, mast head light, radio antenna and perhaps deck lights.
We have been reading about solar panels and it seems 2 -160 watt panels, will be adequate to charge a battery bank for powering a small refrigerator, lights, laptop computer and fans while at anchor if used moderately. An inverter will be necessary for the laptop and a few other tools we may use.
A wind generator is helpful on days when there is not sufficient sun, and at night if there is sufficient wind, but is probably not in the budget
Our chart plotter uses C-Map charts. Dean has also been talking with Jeppesen www.jeppesen.com for a C-MAP for Lakes and Rivers. That combined with our East Coast and Gulf C-MAP will cover our full trip.
To travel outside the US, including Canada we had to obtain an FCC ships station license (includes an MMSI number $220.00, and a restricted radio operators license ($70.00), not cheap but necessary. Many have suggested getting the license through BoatUS or SeaTow. They will get you the restricted radio operator license for free if you are a member, but their license is only good within the US, not good in Canada, Mexico or the Islands.
Ordered some items from Defender Discount Marine Supplies www.defender.com
Purchased 2 new House deep cycle batteries from KMart, which is going out of business in our town.
Next, to order our pilot chairs- 2, as one is needed on the passenger side so the commander can see out the pilot house windows on those long cruises up or down rivers and canals.
I would like to order new carpet, we will see as our list is getting expensive with some of the extras that are required.
To fabricate the dinghy davit mounting brackets is $500.
New dock lines- some of ours are original three strand rope from 1980's-old school.
Unless you have a boat already tailored for the Great Loop or cruising, to install what you want and need before your trips, outfitting with these items can get expensive.
In the next 2 months, getting our cell phones, data, and internet set up for cruising outside US waters.
GPS and paper maps, mapping your trip including expenses- locks, canals, docking,fuel, pump outs.